New Alachua County firefighter training equipment put to the test

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Alachua County firefighters have a new method to assess their fitness and improve their training.

The Fire Fitness Test is a new “Firesled fitness and training” program that gives firefighters the opportunity to train using equipment and techniques that simulate the tasks they would perform on the job. The fitness initiative the ACFR previously used involved routine exercises like the treadmill, push-ups, and sit-ups, but they plan to use that program as a new annual benchmark.

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Captain Karem Scott-Kotb said the ACFR is one of the first in the state to use this equipment for training.

“Tool holder, ladder door, ladder climb, forced entry so it touches a lot of different aspects of what we would have to do in an actual fire scene,” Scott-Kotb said. “The Punisher uses a sledgehammer to strike a weighted sled above a sled simulating forcing us into a door to an apartment or house.”

In addition to annual testing and training for current firefighters, the ACFR also plans to use the program during their hiring process to ensure new hires are physically capable.

“We will use that as a standard that we will set, so if you pass this test it will show us that you are physically fit enough and able to do this job,” Scott-Kotb said.

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